In an article about Outer Banks, art of a beachside view, with a red and white lighthouse in the distance.
A retro beach setting, teenaged antics, a missing enigmatic father and a treasure hunt. What's not to love? (Illustration by Peyton Stark, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

OBX Marks the Spot: Here’s Why You Should Watch ‘Outer Banks’

After the release of the July 30 premiere date for the second season of this Netflix original, fans wait impatiently for the return of John B and his friends’ action-packed hunt for treasure.

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In an article about Outer Banks, art of a beachside view, with a red and white lighthouse in the distance.

After the release of the July 30 premiere date for the second season of this Netflix original, fans wait impatiently for the return of John B and his friends’ action-packed hunt for treasure.

“Woogity, woogity, woogity!”

To welcome back the dashing pogues and infamous kooks from a North Carolina vacation spot, Season 2 of the Netflix Original “Outer Banks” will premiere July 30. 

With the official teaser trailer on June 9 surpassing 1.6 million views, Netflix has pleased avid fans, who have been waiting months for the next installment of “Outer Banks” — especially after the first season left viewers on a cliffhanger. In the trailer’s description, Netflix affirmed that the show and its characters are “back in the gold game.” 

Released in April 2020, the first season of “Outer Banks” follows a tight-knit group of teenaged friends, striving to find the father of John B, their group’s leader. The teens soon come across a map that leads them on a dangerous, yet thrilling, treasure hunt. The world of “Outer Banks” is socially divided into two groups: the Kooks (or the “haves”) and the Pogues (the “have-nots”). The Pogues aim to climb the social ladder, but the stark class division only creates further chaos and mistrust as they embark on their quest. 

The action-adventure series made a name for itself in 2020, hitting the No. 1 spot on Netflix and remaining on the Daily Top 10 charts for 51 consecutive days. The People’s Choice Awards recognized “Outer Banks” as the most “Bingeworthy Show of 2020.” Additionally, lead actors Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline, who play John B and Sarah Cameron, respectively, won “Best Kiss” for an MTV Movie + TV Award.

The upcoming “Outer Banks” Season 2 will continue from Season 1’s cliffhanger while also hopefully advancing relationships and providing answers to the questions burning in fans’ minds — will the group be reunited with each other? Will they complete the treasure hunt successfully? What will happen to the characters that are untrustworthy? Will the feud between the Pogues and Kooks continue? 

Fans can look forward to many familiar faces from Season 1. Cast members Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Jonathan Daviss (Pope), Madison Bailey (Kiara) and Rudy Pankow (JJ) will return as the diverse friend group that fans know and love, while Austin North (Topper) and Drew Starkey (Rafe Cameron) will come back as the villainous Kooks of Outer Banks. Additionally, aside from the returning cast, “Outer Banks” is bringing new faces to its shores. 

“Greenleaf” actress Carlacia Grant will portray Cleo. According to Deadline, Cleo is a “confident and fearless Nassau girl, a formidable artful dodger, whose world collides with the Pogues.” Elizabeth Mitchell, best known for her work on “Lost,” will recur as Limbrey, a “compelling woman with a level of toxicity and menace underneath her seemingly courteous ways.” 

Creators and executive producers Jonas Pate, Josh Pate and Shannon Burke described the “wild ride” that fans are in for in a Deadline article: “Season Two is going to test our crew like never before. We’ve turned up the dial on everything fans loved about season one — more mystery, more romance and higher stakes. It’s a full throttle, action-packed adventure and these photos offer a glimpse into the next chapter for our Pogues.”

Season 2 is getting closer — the thrill of the hunt, teenage drama and the romance of “Outer Banks” quickly approaches. Before the July 30 premiere date arrives, here’s why you should join the OBX fandom and watch the ten 50-minute episodes of Season 1 if you haven’t already. 

“Our mission this summer is to have a good time, all the time.”

Most perfect and popular summer activities involve the outdoors — beach trips, camping, water parks. “Outer Banks” is filled to the brim with beach vibes and a summery setting, and offers the perfect escape into a world of hot weather, boat rides and beach excursions.

In Episode 1, the opening scene shows the tight-knit group escaping police after trespassing on private property. Once they drive through the south side of Outer Banks to their boat, we see them fishing and taking their boat out for a ride along the coast. In a later scene, we also see John B impressively surfing during a hurricane.

In Episode 5, we learn of the Island Club’s annual party called “Midsummers” — a celebration that gathers the Kooks of society for a night of wine and dancing. Through this summer event, viewers get a taste of a fanciful beach party and a look at the lives of Outer Banks’ upper class.

While the show provides appealing summer outings, it also presents a deep look into realistic struggles, some of which can be triggering, yet also relatable. 

“You love being seen with me, but you don’t love me.”

Fans love the main characters of “Outer Banks,” and many can sympathize with each of their exhausting individual struggles. 

At the outset of the series, the audience learns that young John B lives in a fish shack with no family. His father disappeared nine months ago while in search of a shipwreck, and his mom left when he was just 3 years old. His current legal guardian, Uncle T, is building houses in Mississippi, and so John B is currently an unemancipated minor living on his own, with the threat of being placed into the foster care system looming constantly over his head.

John B’s best friend, JJ, is the absolute light of the party. He’s humorous, loyal, and willing to take risks. However, when he’s not out with his friends, he deals with living under the thumb of an abusive father, Luke (Gary Weeks). The abusive relationship between father and son can be difficult to watch at times, but it shapes JJ into the selfless character he is. 

A character that many students might relate to is Pope, who is the “brains of the operation,” according to John B. On top of being in the middle of a treasure hunt that could land him and his friends millions, Pope is also in the midst of furthering his promising future. His hopes of earning a scholarship to college often collide with his dream of obtaining the gold. 

The romantic relationships between the characters of “Outer Banks” offer some advice for what to look for in a significant other and what to avoid. Audiences can watch, for example, the rocky relationship of Sarah Cameron and her ruthless boyfriend, Topper, as it slowly falls apart. Rather than love Sarah for who she is, Topper values her as an object, loving her for her looks and for her status — she’s the princess of the Kooks.

From unstable relationships to future preparations, the show is full of diverse situations that intrigue and attract many watchers. While the characters’ individual lives are intense, so are the battles between the two socially divided sides of Outer Banks: the Pogues and the Kooks. 

“This is war, Pope. They hit us, we hit them.”

It’s no doubt that audiences are attracted to feuds and controversy, especially between the good and bad. Drama is essential to an engaging show full of teens, and in this department, “Outer Banks” does not disappoint.

The Pogues and the Kooks are constantly at each other’s throats. Being the lowest social class, the Pogues are ignored and neglected, according to John B’s narration in the first episode. The Kooks, on the other hand, live in a world of wealth and prestige, which contributes to their egotism, arrogance and lack of respect.

In addition to physical fights, the Pogues and Kooks find other ways of messing with each other. Whether it’s the Pogues secretly sinking a Kook’s ship or a Kook keeping a Pogue locked up in a closet, toying with each other has always been in their nature, and both sectors have rarely found a mutual on the other side. 

Outer Banks’ light and dark sides combat each other in various ways, and these methods serve to intrigue viewers and urge them to see if the Pogues or the Kooks will ultimately prevail. 

“Until I see a body, I’m not giving up.”

What makes “Outer Banks” so thrilling and entertaining is the treasure hunt itself. 

In their search for John B’s enigmatic missing father and the legendary treasure, the iconic friend group encounters obstacles and artifacts that raise questions about the past of John B’s father. From one lead to another, the group’s determination to solve one of the biggest mysteries of Outer Banks’ history is an adventure most anyone can enjoy.

Offering romance, comedy, emotional appeal and action, “Outer Banks” is a must-watch series for audiences of any age to enjoy. For those who haven’t seen Season 1, please do. The Pogues are back in the G-game for Season 2, and the hunt for the gold can only get messier.

Writer Profile

Michelle Buckley

Chapman University
B.F.A. Creative Writing

Michelle Buckley is a rising sophomore at Chapman University and majors in creative writing. Driven by self-expression and motivation to build a community, Buckley hopes to make an impact with her passion for writing.

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